'Hail' new Radiohead album

It is impossible to review a Radiohead album without comparing it to their 1997 masterpiece "O.K. Computer." This release propelled Radiohead into the realm of musical geniuses, proving that the band's two previous albums, "Pablo Honey" and "The Bends," were not just-above-average rock albums, but evidence of the band's maturity.

But "O.K. Computer's" critical and commercial success did not bring Radiohead the satisfaction one would think. Beaten up by a stressful world tour and endless appearances, Radiohead's best album nearly ended the band. After several years off, the band returned to the studio and released "Kid A" in 2000. Both critics and fans were disappointed by the band's foray into electronic sound, and "Kid A's" follow-up "Amnesiac" also garnered similar opinions. It seemed as if Radiohead could not find an answer to "O.K. Computer's" beautiful opus, which critiqued a world consumed by technology and the impending doom that it brought on.

That said, the band's most recent release, "Hail to the Thief," is a much more worthy attempt to produce an album as monumental as "O.K. Computer." Radiohead has finally refined its new electronic sound to make an album that combines bleeps, static, and even a little acoustic guitar, which all come together for a richer texture than any previous release.

Frontman Thom Yorke has resumed the commentator position that he favors, separating himself from what he observes. On "Where I End and You Begin," Yorke states, "I am up in the clouds/ And I can't come down/ I can watch but/ Not take part." Building off of this declaration, Yorke states his opinion on several different matters.

Although he swears that the title "Hail to the Thief" is not an attack on President George W. Bush, the album is highly political. In the stunning track, "I Will," which features only a guitar to accompany Yorke's fragile tenor, Yorke states that he will not let his children live in a bunker underground as he is forced to do. Clearly, Yorke is asserting that he will actively oppose the political state of modern society.

"Hail to the Thief" attacks "hypocrite opportunists," presidents and murderers so often that listeners may begin to wonder if Yorke isn't aiming these attacks at one particular target. Everything finally culminates on the final track, "A Wolf at the Door." In a disgusted tone Yorke talks of a world where no matter what happens, "someone else is gonna come and clean it up."

Finally, Yorke becomes so dissatisfied with the lazy mess of a world that has been created by lying politicians and evil corporations that he says to the listener, "I wish you'd get up, go over...and turn this tape off."

While "Hail to the Thief" accomplishes the commentary that it set out to create, it seems that Radiohead is itching to create more. The members of the band have reached the pinnacle of what they can do with electronic sound, leaving us to wonder what the band will do next.

As with "Kid A" and "Amnesiac," "Hail to the Thief" leaves you wanting more. It's become obvious that Radiohead can't ever return to the guitar based rock of "The Bends" and "O.K. Computer," so each new release that they put out has left each listener itching to find out what they'll experiment with next. Until then, we can enjoy "Hail to the Thief" and the opulent sounds it has created.

but/ Not take part." Building off of this declaration, Yorke states his opinion on several different matters.

Although he swears that the title "Hail to the Thief" is not an attack on President George W. Bush, the album is highly political. In the stunning track, "I Will," which features only a guitar to accompany Yorke's fragile tenor, Yorke states that he will not let his children live in a bunker underground as he is forced to do. Clearly, Yorke is asserting that he will actively oppose the political state of modern society.

"Hail to the Thief" attacks "hypocrite opportunists," presidents and murderers so often that listeners may begin to wonder if Yorke isn't aiming these attacks at one particular target. Everything finally culminates on the final track, "A Wolf at the Door." In a disgusted tone Yorke talks of a world where no matter what happens, "someone else is gonna come and clean it up."

Finally, Yorke becomes so dissatisfied with the lazy mess of a world that has been created by lying politicians and evil corporations that he says to the listener, "I wish you'd get up, go over...and turn this tape off."

While "Hail to the Thief" accomplishes the commentary that it set out to create, it seems that Radiohead is itching to create more. The members of the band have reached the pinnacle of what they can do with electronic sound, leaving us to wonder what the band will do next.

As with "Kid A" and "Amnesiac," "Hail to the Thief" leaves you wanting more. It's become obvious that Radiohead can't ever return to the guitar based rock of "The Bends" and "O.K. Computer," so each new release that they put out has left each listener itching to find out what they'll experiment with next. Until then, we can enjoy "Hail to the Thief" and the opulent sounds it has created.

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